Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, will today leave for Saudi Arabia to co-chair the 6th session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC).
Minister Davies will co-chair the South Africa-Saudi Arabia JEC with his counterpart, Dr Twafeeq Al Rabeeach.
The JEC is an initiative agreed upon between the two countries to strengthen economic ties and to attract foreign direct investment from Saudi Arabia into South Africa in targeted sectors. It also aims to promote sound business-to-business cooperation.
Minister Davies said although South Africa’s exports to Saudi Arabia improved last year, the trade deficit is still in Saudi Arabia’s favour.
“South Africa’s exports to Saudi Arabia showed an increase from R2.6 billion in 2013 to R4. 7 billion in 2014, reflected by an annual growth of 80.62% in 2014.
“The export trend, with an average growth of 20.42% from 2010 to 2014, was overcome by a g upward import trend that recorded a continuous increase in imports at an average growth of 39.22% in the same period.
“South Africa’s imports showed a sharp increase from R23.6 billion in 2010 to R77.3 billion in 2014,” said Minister Davies on Sunday.
During the 5th session of the JEC, both countries expressed their satisfaction with the significant growth of trade and agreed to utilise all means to enhance further growth.
The meeting agreed to promoting and developing aspects of co-operation in the fields of oil, gas and minerals through participation in conferences and specialised seminars in both countries.
The two countries also finalised a draft of a Technical Co-operation Program (TCP) between the Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organisation (SASO) and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).
The South African delegation to Saudi Arabia includes senior government officials and business people.
The JEC will be preceded by the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Business forum which will be attended by business people from both countries.
Source : SAnews.gov.za